North-West Europe - Marine Energy Alliance - Services to accelerate marine energy innovations


Project Summary

About the Marine Energy Alliance

The Marine Energy Alliance (MEA) is a 4 year European Territorial Cooperation project running from May 2018 to May 2022. The project has a total budget of €6 million and is financially supported by Interreg North West Europe, who provides €3.6 million of ERDF funding.

The aim of MEA is to progress the technical and commercial maturity level of early-stage (TRL 3 – 4) marine energy technology companies with the overall goal of reducing the risk of device failure in subsequent demonstration phases.

Via MEA, selected marine energy technology companies are able to receive a suite of tailored expert services that will enable them to realise their ambitions and, more broadly, contribute to the coherent growth of the marine energy industry in general.

Through participation in MEA, companies will gain access to the project partners’ world-leading expertise in marine energy development. Awarded companies will have the chance to work closely together with a transnational team of marine energy experts on both the technical advancement of their technology, as well as the development of their commercial strategy and business plans. Each service offer is intended to put the company’s technology and business firmly on the road towards successful commercialisation.

Questions

Remaining questions not answered in the FAQ and Guidance Document can be directed to MEA@dutchmarineenergy.com.

Disclaimer: While the information contained within this website is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this website is correct, complete, and up-to-date.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Dutch Marine Energy Centre 200 Bergerweg
Alkmaar
1817 MN
Netherlands
daphne@dutchmarineenergy.com www.dutchmarineenergy.com
Name Contact Name Email Country
The European Marine Energy Centre Limited Danielle Moodie danielle.moodie@emec.org.uk United Kingdom
MaREI Fiona Fleming fiona.fleming@ucc.ie Ireland
Ecole Centrale de Nantes Thomas Soulard thomas.soulard@ec-nantes.fr France
Exceedence Limited Raymon Alcorn ray.alcorn@exceedence.com Ireland
INNOSEA SAS Félix Gorintin felix.gorintin@innosea.fr France
Stichting Maritiem Research Instituut Nederland Floor Spaargaren f.spaargaren@marin.nl Netherlands
Navingo BV Wendy Monteiro da Fonseca wm@navingo.com Netherlands
University of Edinburgh Andrew Aveyard Andrew.Aveyard@ei.ed.ac.uk United Kingdom

19 May webinar - Standardisation and certification for offshore renewables

On the 19th of May (from 10.00 AM – 11.30 AM), this webinar was co-organized by WEAMEC and DMEC. This was as part of the OPIN and MEA projects, both financially supported by Interreg North West Europe.

This webinar will provide an overview of the benefits from standardisation and certification, progress on the codes and standards to date, and lessons learnt from ORE stakeholders who went through the certification process.

Click here to view the webinar

Click here to register

The MEA partners are preparing a series of webinars on various topics with the potential of accelerating the development of Marine Energy solutions. 

24 March 2020 - Crowdfunding & Marine Energy

This webinar was organized by Marine Energy Alliance (MEA) together with IdeaSquares and was presented by Ray Alcorn of Exceedence and Kirsty Ranger of IdeaSquares. 

Learn from Exceedence’s successful crowdfunding journey and hear all about the ins & outs and do’s & don’ts of crowdfunding from Crowdfunding Experts, IdeaSquares. Find out about the opportunities of crowdfunding and when it is right for your business.  

Click here to view the webinar  

Click here to download the slides

 

Details on future webinars will follow soon

 

News


Last Call for MEA Project Applications

Posted on

Marine Energy Alliance: First call for support is almost closing! One day left to apply. Are you an early-stage marine energy technology company looking for guidance and support in advancing your technology’s future? Then send in your application for the Marine Energy Alliance. Deadline for entry is tomorrow, Friday 15 February at 17:00 CET. Read More

MEA Project: Just one week before deadline

Posted on

The Marine Energy Alliance aims to progress the technical and commercial maturity level of early-stage (TRL 3 – 4) marine energy technology companies with the overall goal of reducing the risk of device failure in subsequent demonstration phases. Selected marine energy technology companies will receive a suite of tailored expert services that will enable them to realize their ambitions. Read More


Why should I apply for support via MEA?

MEA aims to accelerate innovation and technological development in the European marine energy sector. The project’s focus lies in supporting early-stage technologies (TRL 3 to 4), with the overall goal of reducing the risk of device failure in subsequent demonstration phases. In order to achieve this goal, the project partners jointly offer an integrated suite of services to forty early-stage marine energy developers, to assist them in their technical and commercial development.

 

The services are tailored to each organisation’s specific needs and challenges. Each organisation will receive a unique Service Offer that addresses the technological and commercial challenges which keep their technology from progressing to the next TRL phase. Through participation in MEA, marine energy technology companies will gain access to the project partners’ world-leading expertise in marine energy development. Awarded companies will have the chance to closely work together with a transnational team of marine energy experts on both the technical advancement of their technology, as well as the development of their commercial strategy and business plans.

When is my organisation eligible to receive support from MEA?

Companies wishing to apply to the MEA project are only eligible to receive support if they comply with the following eligibility criteria:

 The applicant successfully submits an online Expression of Interest before the deadline as set in Section 3 of the Guidance Document (insert link);

  • The applicant must be a legally established business entity classified as an SME1 in accordance with EU recommendation 2003/361;
  • The applicant must be operationally based2 in one of the eligible countries within the European Union;
  • The applicant must currently be developing a marine energy technology concept (wave, tidal, salinity gradient or OTEC) which is at technology readiness level (TRL) 3 or 43. Promising applications received in the field of floating wind, offshore floating solar, and enabling storage solutions may also be considered providing they are TRL 3 or 44.
  • The applicant must comply with State aid requirements5.

 1 The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million. Within the SME category, a small enterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 50 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed €10 million while a micro-enterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed €2 million.

2 This will require the existence of staff employment contracts in line with the national labour legislation.

3 As this is an Interreg North West Europe programme, we would however insist that that there is a clear impact/benefit for North West Europe.

4 See Annex B of the Guidance Document for further details on TRLs.

5 See the Guidance Document and/or FAQ #13

What kind of funding is available in the MEA project?

A Voucher for support is awarded to marine energy technology companies who submitted a successful application. The Voucher describes the services that MEA will offer to the company. There is no direct (cash) funding available in MEA.

What happens after successfully applying for support via MEA?

If you have been awarded a place, you will be notified on 1st May 2020. The suite of support services offered is formalised in a “Voucher Agreement” to be signed by the ME Concept developer and the MEA partners that will deliver the services in the support Track. You will be allocated a Service Track Coach who will explain the process on Voucher and bilateral Agreement and the next steps.

What is the maximum budget of a voucher?

It depends on the services you are offered. 

How about Brexit effect on the projects if the testing going on at EMEC facilities in England?

the UK guarantees the full funding of all projects approved before the date of the UK leaving the EU. Their funding will be guaranteed until the end of the project.

Service questions

Which services are offered by MEA?

MEA pooled its expertise in marine energy development to define a suite of technical and commercial support services to support and accelerate the development of marine energy concepts. In all, six technical and five commercial service types have been defined. More information on these service categories can be found in the Guidance Document.

Can I specify which services I would like to receive?

In the Expression of Interest (Stage 1 of the application process) and the Request for Information (Stage 2 of the application process), applicants are requested to indicate which services would best help them in reaching their next technical and commercial milestones. The provided answers will inform the allocation of specific services. Further detailing of the specific services leading to the Service Offer will be done in the benchmarking phase in close collaboration with the MEA partnership.  

Should I request both technical and commercial services?

Yes. The MEA philosophy is that integrated technical and commercial support is required to boost innovation and technological development of early-stage marine energy technology companies. Therefore, each Support Track will combine at least one technical and one commercial service.

Can a project/voucher utilise more than one technical and commercial service?

That is possible. It depends on the status of your development and how MEA partners think they can help you progress.

Do you offer tank testing possibilities?

There is probably not tank testing possible in call 2.

Can you give an example of Techincal and Commerical services awards and what the activities were carried out?

All the services that can be delivered are in our Guidance Document

Application Questions

How does the application process work?

Organisations that wish to receive support from MEA can apply by following a two-stage application process. This process is outlined in the Guidance Document.

How will applications be assessed?

Evaluation will take account of information provided by the applicant in both Stages of the application process. Three overarching criteria will be used: strategic fit with the MEA project; buy-in to the MEA philosophy; and feasibility of delivering within MEA and beyond. See the Guidance Document for more information about these criteria.    

If I was unsuccessful in the first Call, can I resubmit my application in this second Call?

Yes.

Can I ask for only commercial or technical support?

In principle not, as we feel that technical and commercial support are both important. But please send in your EoI so we can assess.

Are we able to contact partners prior to submission to discuss potential projects or does this come after enquiry submission?

Yes you can. Their details are in the Guidance Document. You can e-mail them directly or send your question to mea@dutchmarineenergy.com

If the TRL of a device is around 6-7 but some parts of the technology are at TRL 3-4 and still need developping, could we be available for support?

You certainly can. Please send in the EoI for that certain part.

Miscellaneous Questions

If we are successful in our application, which commitments should my company make?

In order to ensure quality engagement, MEA requires an investment in time from the awarded companies. The implementation of services will need to be viewed as a truly collaborative effort between the companies and MEA.

Can separate marine renewable energy types (e.g. tidal plus offshore wind) be combined as part of a bid?

Yes, this is acceptable.

What do the de minimis State aid regulations entail?

In order to obey State aid regulations, all companies receiving support from the MEA project should comply with the de minimis rule for State aid. This rule determines that certain limited amounts of State aid do not significantly affect trade or competition and can therefore be awarded without notification to, or clearance by, the European Commission. The de minimis State aid any single company may receive is limited to €200,000 per EU Member State over a rolling period of 3 (fiscal) years. 

While the available MEA funding per company is not in excess of this ceiling, organisations who have been granted de minimis State aid in the recent past, should ensure they respect this rule before submitting their first stage application. Accordingly, in the MEA Expression of Interest, applicants will be required to provide an assurance that prospective involvement in the Support Tracks, will not contravene this ceiling. For applicants whose bids are approved at Stage 2, a self-declaration document detailing de minimis funding already received over this period will be required as part of the subsequent negotiation of their Voucher Contract (see Section 5). Applicants should also note that eligibility for further public subventions over the course of the subsequent 3 years (i.e. to the end of 2021 based on the current Call for Applications) may be influenced by the MEA funding granted.

We are developing a new technology: how will the project handle intellectual property rights (IPR) issues?

In relation to concerns over confidentiality and ownership and use of Intellectual Property, applicants can be assured that, neither the project, its consortium of organisations nor the INTERREG NWE programme will retain any equity stake in participating companies nor their existing IPR.

However, all procedural outputs, results and deliverables related to MEA project partners and their service provisions must be freely released into the public domain.

The consortium wishes to draw attention to the fact that there are numerous ways to disseminate knowledge without revealing proprietary, sensitive data or details specific to a device (e.g. non-dimensionalised results). In particular, scientific publication, without compromising the competitive advantage of the user, is common and can be very beneficial in terms of validating the technology when it comes to seeking future investment and financing.

Specifics regarding these issues will be negotiated and agreed to the satisfaction of both parties in advance of the Support Tracks as part of the Voucher Agreements and associated bilateral contracts with service providers. These will be in line with normally established rules and regulations in the context of EU-funded projects.

How will our personal data be handled by the project?

The MEA project has defined its own privacy guidelines in accordance with the EU’s GDPR legislation. See the Guidance Document for more information.

How can​ we keep up-to-date on MEA’s progress?

Visit www.nweurope.eu/mea and follow us on Twitter at @marine_alliance. 

Are all marine renewable energies eligible for a voucher, i.e. solar energy?

Yes, MEA covers all technologies that generate electricity from water. This includes offshore solar energy.


MEA - Brochure

Check out the Marine Energy Alliance Brochure and learn more about marine energy, the project and the supported SME companies.

Download MEA Brochure


MEA - Guidance Document

This Guidance Document acts as a reference document detailing the application process for organisations aiming to apply for support from the Marine Energy Alliance (MEA). It is intended to serve as the primary source of information regarding the terms and conditions that apply to receive support from MEA.

20 01 30 MEA Guidance Document 2020.pdf

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